Monday, March 29, 2010

Can the publishing industry learn from Blockbuster?

Another interesting "food for thought" in the e-publishing and digital publishing issue. I'm wondering if debating whether or not it is "good" or "bad" for the industry, authors, artists is really beside the point. I think, like digital cameras and the iTunes revolution, that it is coming, and whether or not anyone likes it is going to be beside the point. Sure, I have fond memories of my first Kodak disc camera that I thought was so cool at the time. Does a part of me nostalgically yearn for the old black and white darkrooms? Sure (esp. since my concentration was photojournalism).

But things have changed. Whether or not I like it is irrelevant.

That's why this article on "The Turkey Principle" caught my eye. Essentially, it presents the idea that innovation and businesses such as Netflix are running companies such as Blockbuster out of business, and when many realize this, the response is reactionary. Were the signs there really all along?

I think there are lessons here that are directly applicable...though I don't think I'm probably the best one to articulate it, considering the "C" on my college transcript from Economics 101.

Story is by Brett Arends from the Wall Street Journal. Here is the paragraph that really caught my attention:

"Blockbuster isn't an isolated example. A few days after the video store chain warned it may have to file for bankruptcy, smartphone maker Palm (PALM) announced "disappointing" sales. The shares, which had risen as high as $18 last fall, slumped to $4.

To hear some people tell it, Palm "surprised," "shocked" or even "stunned" the market with the news.


This suggests no one on Wall Street had walked into a cellular store recently. Or heard of the iPhone. Or even just looked around on any street, including Wall Street, or in any bar at what smartphones people were using."

You can read the whole article, The Turkey Princple, to get everything in context by going to this link:

New website coming soon

I'm in the process of redesigning my website [okay, I'm using a template, but you get the idea]. I was hoping to launch it as the same time as my short story collection I'm putting on Kindle (and even include a few free reads on the website) but a deadline for this novel contest is looming, and it seemed the perfect chance to go ahead and boot my "Australia" novel out of the house.

I have to have a deadline--and usually an unrealistic one--to kind of force me to stop obsessing over every word. Sure, I'd like for every word to be perfect (and I know writers who do produce every word perfectly), but if I did that, the book would never leave the house. Ever. Maybe it's my biological clock going off? (Like I don't have one for children, but I have one for books? Go figure)

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